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Opposition leader Lapid changes course, calls on Netanyahu to resign ‘now’ over poor wartime performance

Likud party accuses Lapid of playing politics during a war

Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on Oct. 26, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Opposition leader and Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign immediately, while presenting a plan for an alternative unity government on Wednesday evening.

“He needs to go now,” Lapid said during an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 news.

“Because from a security and societal standpoint, we can’t allow ourselves to have a prime minister who lost the faith of the public. A prime minister who, as you just reported, is either busy dealing with anonymous tweets during the night… or with politics of the worst kind.”

When asked if he thought Netanyahu should resign immediately, even in the midst of the war, Lapid responded: “Yes, we need a government we can trust in.”

The opposition leader went on to present a plan for an alternative unity government, made up of the Likud party (presumably under new leadership), Yisrael Beytenu, the ultra-Orthodox parties and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz, who is currently part of Netanyahu's emergency war cabinet.

Channel 12 news anchor Yonit Levi confronted Lapid with comments he had made on Army Radio just one day prior when he said he didn’t want to deal with politics while IDF soldiers were fighting a war.

“So you thought this until Day 39 [of the war]; on Day 40 you woke up with a different opinion?”

Lapid, visibly flustered, did not have a direct answer and instead continued talking about the need for a government that has the people’s trust.

Despite being invited repeatedly to join Netanyahu's government and the war cabinet that was established six days after the war began, Lapid has refused to do so, citing concerns over either Netanyahu or National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who he views as religious fanatics.

The Likud party blasted Lapid’s comments in a statement. “It is sad and shameful that Lapid is politicking during a war, proposing to depose the prime minister who is leading the campaign and replace him with a government that will establish a Palestinian state and allow the Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza.”

Lapid had recently demanded to transfer control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority after the war.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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